Founded in 1974, the Women’s Center was established to:
Dismantle, from a feminist perspective, all forms of oppression, including but not limited to those based on ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Advocate for an equitable environment free from violence and harassment based on gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Create an anti-racist, non-sexist, queer-affirmative space where all people can feel valued and safe.
Facilitate and strengthen connections among people across lines of difference through programming and educational campaigns.
Integrate an appreciation of Women's Gender and Multicultural Studies across the disciplines.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Can We Not Talk About It?

First and foremost I would like to welcome everyone back to a new semester and hopefully you have enjoyed your break. On behalf of the Women's Center staff, we wish you the best of luck on all of your studies, programs, projects, etc.
Now let's kick things off into high gear!

Diversity; the scary word that people tend to quiver at or think of as taboo because they do not want to be offensive or discriminatory to any specific group of people. Every time this subject is brought up into discussion in the classes I have taken, conversations tend to be very limited and safe. Bear in mind the ratio of white people to people of color is extremely skewed; just about 25 to 2. I am aware of my background as a person of color and that does not make me feel uncomfortable to talk about diversity. What makes it uncomfortable is when students in the class who are not of color try to portray life as if racism does not exist and everyone is the same. Granted there is a definite cultural and experiential difference which may hinder the realization of how prevalent this issue is still today....but still it's time that  these topics be put in place into the curriculum as requirements so they are introduced and exposed to the ideas.

However, it's not just the students that need educating; professors also need to understand how to teach a diverse class. Too often have professors turned to me for validation as the token person of color to give support for whatever argument they have made and immediately have marked me as the sole representation for that group. It gives the false impression that all people of color think the way that I do or feel similarly on topics discussed in the class as I do. It is too much pressure for one person to now become the best representation of that group. We cannot continue to claim our society as a progressive one, working towards equity and social justice if people do not recognize their own contributions to why the world is the way it is.

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